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>62                    THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

workmen's dwellings, but at the same time a centre of propa-
ganda, in which there was working—a matter worth mentioning—
a gloomy,, severe journalist, whose name was to become famous
.and fatal in the world, namely Benito Mussolini.

It was the Umanitaria which organized a general move for-
ward, undertaking the manufacture of material, that is, the scientific
apparatus I designed for the first Children's House.

After this the Beni Stabili opened schools in the tenement
buildings which existed in various parts of Rome, this time for
middle-class people, who had asked for the privilege of Children's
Houses for their children also. Then there was founded the first
Children's House for the aristocracy, opened by the English
ambassador in Rome and accommodating children from the highest
ranks of society.

After a disastrous earthquake which destroyed the city of
Messina in Sicily, there were gathered together in Rome 60 children
found wandering among the ruins, and for this group of little
unknown creatures, now orphans, bewildered and stupified by the
terrible shock, was founded the Children's House in the Via
Giusti, kept by the Franciscan sisters Missionaries of Mary. The
'Children's House in the Via Giusti became celebrated because of
the transformation wrought on these little ones, to whom was
restored the joy of life; it inspired novels and poetry, like the
Montessori Mother of the American authoress Dorothy Can-
field-Fisher. Children's Houses were opened in various places,
after Baron and Baroness Franchetti provided a first course of
training for teachers, which was originally intended for the prepa-
ration of Italian teachers for rural schools, but which in that first
session included teachers from nine European nations. After that
in 1913S on the very eve of the first world war, there was organized,
on the initiative of Americans, a first international course ia Rome,
which was attended by students from European countries, from
America, Africa and India. ,

Scientific pedagogy for children had come into existence with
immense energy to modify education.